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Monday, June 11, 2007

Kesari Tours mulls Rs 100cr IPO

Leading tour operator Kesari Tours and Travels is mulling a Rs 100-crore IPO before the end of the next fiscal to part-finance its expansion plans.

"We are contemplating raising resources either by way of an IPO or private placement in FY09," Veena Patil, Chairman and Managing Director of Kesari Tours, told media on Sunday.

The company, which has been growing at nearly 40%, is also receiving several proposals for joint ventures.

"We are also receiving several proposals for joint ventures from leading foreign tour operators, who want to have a presence in India," she said, adding "two foreign funds have evinced interest in invest USD 25-million in our company."

Kesari Tours, celebrating its 23rd anniversary, clocked a turnover of Rs 235-crore in FY07 and is eyeing a turnover of Rs 345 crore in FY08. "We hope to clock a Rs 500-crore turnover in FY09" she said.

The company's growth strategy includes strengthening its network to serve tourists across the country. The company has offices in Maharashtra, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. It also scents a big opportunity in in-bound traffic to the country. "Nearly 1.5 million foreign travellers come to India every year and we see immense potential here," Patil said.

Asked about the impact of the rising Rupee on the country's tourism industry, she said that "it has provided a great opportunity for tourism as both inbound and outbound travel has become cheaper."

As a part of several innovative concepts to promote tourism, Kesari will be launching My Fair Lady Club (MFLC) on June 23. The club promises a range of activities for women members including all women travel tours, get-togethers, personality development seminars, etc.

"In the US, the number of women-only tour operators increased 230% over the last six years with 70% of all travel decisions being taken by women regardless of who they travel with, who pays for the trip or where they go. The same trend is emerging in India too," Patil remarked, reports The Economic Times.

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